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Hayes J.P.,Cavan Monaghan Hospital | Rooney J.,Academic Institute of Neurology
Occupational medicine (Oxford, England) | Year: 2014

METHODS: A cross-sectional study assessed 4 weeks of respiratory symptoms among mushroom workers divided into four categories of exposure, using a self-administered respiratory questionnaire and spirometry.RESULTS: The population of 191 subjects was predominantly (66%) from Eastern Europe; 61% were women and 39% were under 30. It included 73 growers, 38 composters, 26 administrators and 52 packers. Among all workers, there was a high prevalence (67%) of one or more respiratory symptoms which did not appear to vary by age, gender, pack-years of smoking or duration of employment. There was a significant improvement in respiratory symptoms in workers during absence from the workplace (P < 0.001). Spirometry readings across all groups were within normal values. Symptom profiles suggest that as many as 22 workers had symptoms of airways disease; 18 (82%) of these were mushroom growers. Growers were significantly more likely to have symptoms consistent with airways disease than all other workers, odds ratio 9.2 (95% CI 3.0-28.4).CONCLUSIONS: There was a high prevalence of respiratory symptoms among mushroom workers. Mushroom growers may be at high risk of airways disease, possibly from fungal antigens or related exposures.BACKGROUND: Respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and upper airways symptoms have been ascribed to fungal exposures. Mushroom workers may be at risk of these as a consequence.AIMS: To assess the prevalence of respiratory symptoms in mushroom workers. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Occupational Medicine. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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